Tbilisi, Georgia — U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, visited the nation of Georgia to review U.S.-supported efforts to counter the threat of nuclear and biological terrorism. Donnelly met with Georgian leaders and security forces to reinforce the importance of the U.S.-Georgia relationship and toured facilities along the Georgia-Armenia border tasked with identifying, stopping, and deterring the trafficking of nuclear and radiological material. The senator also visited biological research labs, including the renowned Lugar Center for Public Health Research, where the U.S. works with Georgian counterparts to monitor disease trends in the region and protect dangerous pathogens from falling into the wrong hands.
Donnelly said, “As we combat the threat of nuclear proliferation and biological terrorism, I wanted to see firsthand the essential work happening here. Twenty five years ago, Senator Lugar led a bipartisan effort to make the world safer by keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of dangerous actors. I am proud to help ensure that work continues today.”
Donnelly’s visit comes as this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Nunn-Lugar Act, named for former Senators Sam Nunn (D-GA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), which established the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to combat threats posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including nuclear, radiological, chemical, and biological weapons. Originally targeted at countries of the former Soviet Union, the Nunn-Lugar program now supports counter-WMD efforts in nations around the globe.
As Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Donnelly is tasked with overseeing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, as well as missile defense programs and nuclear non-proliferation efforts like the Nunn-Lugar program.
On this trip, Donnelly also visited Kiev, where he met with Ukrainian defense officials to reiterate American support for Ukrainian sovereignty in the face of an increasingly hostile Russia.